Notes from the telecast, after the jump ...
Written while watching.
Laila Ali is the last woman standing. She's also looking more and more like a favorite to win. Scores 29 from the judges (10s from Carrie Ann and Bruno) on her first performance tonight.
John Ratzenberger has to follow her, which of itself seems pretty cruel. I'd still keep John before Billy Ray Cyrus, but BRC has that whole "Doc"/"Hannah Montana" thing going for him. John looks OK on the foxtrot, but he's also letting his partner do most of the work.
But Bruno likes him. Carrie Ann also says nice things -- calls it his best dance so far, while admitting he's not one of the "big boys." Len says he relates to John because of their ages and calls it a great job. But not great scores: 8-7-8 from Carrie Ann, Len, Bruno. 23 doesn't win anything.
Apolo next. Also on foxtrot. Snazzy. He's very smooth and confident on the floor. They play camera location well at the end. Len goes old-fogey on him during the comments. Scores: 9 from Carrie Ann, 8 from Len, 9 from Bruno. 26 total. Not going to be first in this round. Second chance to recover, though.
Ian. Gets advice from Billy Ray ... about having fun. Tango. Cheryl Burke is FABULOUS but Ian still has that Mr. Stiffy problem. Score: 27, three 9's.
Billy Ray. Waltz. Spends a lot of time just standing. Worst perf so far tonight. Bruno calls him out for making Karina doing all the work; Carrie Ann dittos. Len plays the "fun & enjoyment" card before admitting there were no real waltz steps. Billy says after that he wanted to showcase Karina before he gets sent home. Score: 17 (5 from Carrie Ann, 6 from the guys).
Joey. Foxtrot. He's on tonight -- even dancing to a scary, swing-arrangement "The Way You Make Me Feel." Could give Laila a run. Len's grumpy about "razzle dazzle." Scores: 10, 9, 10 with Len the 9. 29, dead even with Laila.
Latin round. And here's Laila again. She has a dreadful costume and awkward hand movements in the beginning. Still good at so many things, though. Bruno loved it. Carrie Ann calls it amazing. Len thinks her dad should be proud. Sounds like straight 10s. Score: Yup, straight 10s. Big 3-0.
John again. Not moving much. But Carrie Ann says he's the best mover of "all the older gentlemen" who have been on the show. Score: 22. (8 from Len, 7s from the other.)
Apolo. Still good. But he comes across like a nice guy dancing well, where Laila has more charisma and Joey more flair. Score: 28. Bruno goes 10, the others 9.
Ian. Bad sleeveless shirt. He is working very hard at seeming to have fun. Score: 27, straight 9s.
Billy Ray. Actually manages a few coordinated steps, but plenty of standing still and stumblefooting, too. Still, I can hear the judges talking about the old, fun Billy Ray. Carrie Ann says he manages to "get the steps done." Len mentions that "you had fun on the floor." Bruno admits to "enjoying it" in an "insane" way. Score: 21, straight 7s. Better but keeps them in last place with the judges. Billy admits he has been striving for "mediocracy."
Joey to close. Energy and style. Could easily be another 30. And ... yes it is.
So we've got Laila and Joey at 59 each, Apolo and Ian at 54 each, John at 45, Billy Ray at 38.
Also, in case you've lost track of how the scores work, here's the explanation from ABC's site:
Each week every couple receives points from the judges and votes from the public. For every couple we work out the share they got of the points given by the judges on the night, and the share they got of the publics' votes on the night and we add these two shares together. The couple with the lowest combined total is eliminated from the show.
For example if couple A, B and C receive 38, 26 and 14 points from the judges, we calculate what share these points represent of the total awarded by the judges on the night. In this case the judges gave 78 points in total, and each couples' share of 78 points breaks down as follows: 38= 48.72% of 78, 26= 33.33% of 78, 14= 17.95% of 78. Let's suppose that when the public votes are tallied, each couple has the following shares: A= 20%, B=40%, C=40%. To determine who's eliminated we combine these two shares for the total:
Couple A: 20+48.72%= 68.72%
Couple B: 40+33.33%= 73.33%
Couple C: 40+17.95%= 57.95%
In this case, the bottom two couples would be A and C, and C would be eliminated.